It’s been over 2 months since my life took a turn for what seemed to be the worst and I decided to make some lemonade. Not literally, because I respect my enamel and don’t have anything personally against lemons. Losing my job seems to have been a blessing in disguise as it gave me the kick in the ass that I needed to pick up my life and move somewhere that has unlimited beauty and endless outdoor activities to occupy my every waking minute. I don’t know if it was the 120 degree heat in Phoenix or the ever-increasing desire to move away to try something new that ultimately drove me to man up and move to Maui, but I feel like it was a long time coming. As I write this, I am only 48 hours from boarding a plane that will take me to the most secluded island chain in the world with no plans of coming back. Buying that one way plane ticket was the first step to the move feeling real, but it still hasn’t quite set in and I can’t tell you when it will. I think I will either move back in a year with my tail between my legs saying “Maui really chewed me up and spit me out”, move back in three years saying “Wow, that was an amazing journey and experience I will never forget” or I’m never moving back and Phoenix will become a city that I return to during holidays to see family and friends. However it unfolds, I am excited at the possibilities of what the upcoming days, weeks, months and years hold for me. I imagine this is what it feels like to be a professional motocross athlete that has decided to conquer the double back flip and is sitting at the top of the ramp with nothing but a runway and a foam pit to catch his fall. No matter what happens, it’s going to be exciting and I really can’t hurt myself.
[picture from the plane, my last moment in Phoenix. I barely made the flight.]
As I prepare to leave PHX in my rear view mirror, I have enjoyed the last few weeks filled with friends and family wanting to cheers one last time and wish me the best. It really has made me realize that almost all of my friends either have a drinking problem or that is the only way they can take my personality. If there is one thing that can prompt people to tell you how they feel about you, it’s the threat of never seeing you again. I have just a few minor loose ends to close up including the selling of my car, veterinary visits for my dog (who will go through the two-page check list of qualifications so she only has to spend “up to 5 days” in quarantine when she arrives in Maui 6 months from now), see my immediate family for dinner one last time and cap off my very last night with an amazing day of Keg Ball with some of my closest friends. Having filled my last 29 years with a wide range of experiences has created very different circles of friends but all of them have very unique bonds and hold special places in my heart. The fact that I will soon thrust myself into a world of unknowns after spending so much time in my comfort zone still hasn’t truly sunk in just yet. I honestly don’t think it will hit me until I board the plane at 8 AM on Saturday, September 14th and head West over the Pacific. I am determined not to let home-sickness make me second guess myself, but that might be easier said than done. One thing is for certain, I will always have friends, family and a place to call home in Phoenix. My dad began building a community in Phoenix over 30 years ago when he was transferred here from New Jersey by Honeywell, mostly due to his involvement in the Catholic Church and marriage encounter. I feel like he would be proud of me today, having established my own community in many different ways and being willing to take a leap of faith to discover who I am and what I’m capable of accomplishing when challenged. I still have no place to live, no job, no car and no idea what my life will look like in a few weeks from now but I am positive that I will make it work and it will make me a stronger person for tackling this situation.
The preparation that I have set in place includes a budget for housing plus a three months cushion of rent, buying a used car for getting to/from work, hiking sites, transporting my future surf board and my chocolate lab when she arrives on-island around March 2014. Additionally I built a few thousand dollars into the budget for supplies, used furniture if necessary, a simple bed to rest my head and maybe a few extra toys like a spear gun so I can hunt for my own dinner on occasion. Hopefully the job will work out rather quickly and I’ll begin full-time work no later than the first week of October, but that is something that chance and opportunity will dictate. I will need to be careful not to get too caught up in the islands amazing activities while I’m unemployed for the first few weeks while background checks are being processed. Apparently this used to only take up to one week, however since most states in the US are broke, the process now takes twice as long. So states are broke because the economy sucks and the economy gets worse because states are broke. It’s the same terrible cycle that Fat Bastard went through in Austin Powers. I hope the island life and working in a place I love gives me the ability to see every day of work as a new adventure. I know vacationing in Maui and living in Maui are two very different things, but being around the vacationers and utilizing my expertise of the island to help them get everything they can out of their trip seems like a very gratifying lifestyle. Every day I don’t work, I will utilize to expand my knowledge of what the island has to offer and each week I will go to work being able to do my job better than the week before. Seems simple enough, right? “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” It all is adding up in my mind at least.
How much of all this will come true? Who knows. Oh well, I’m off for one hell of an adventure. I love you all in Phoenix, you have made the last 29 years really great and we will never lose touch because I’m addicted to facebook. As Mr. Chow says in The Hangover, “So long, gay boys”.
[Took this picture just before takeoff so you could see how hungover I looked. Lets just say it was a very successful game of kegball the night before I left.]